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Vol. 13, No. 8, August 21, 2000

 The Ups & Downs Of Baseball

Holert, Krueger
Friday’s speaker Bill Krueger chats with BBRC member Bob “Gams” Holert.

Bill Krueger, frequent visitor to the BBRC, friend of Brian Evison, and former Mariner pitcher, gave his assessment of Seattle’s major league entry in the American League. Krueger “works three jobs,” as explained in Evison’s introduction. “Bill is Marketing Director for a company called Fastball and does an on-air gig on KJR SportsTalk and the evening baseball wrap-up on Fox Sports Northwest.”

Krueger spent 13 years in the majors, including being on the 1988 roster of the LA Dodgers when they won the World Series, giving him a coveted ring.

Krueger’s  assessment of the Mariners began with a statement that few could refute: “The Mariners are a better team than a year ago.” Concerning the current funk that has produced eight straight defeats, Bill said that all clubs have streaks, some up and some down. “Perhaps their success in the last road trip, where they went 6-2 and gained a 7-game lead in the AL West, set them up for the problems they’re having. But, looking at the roster, the club has no real stopper in a pitcher … no one who could start a game and can always be counted on to stop a losing streak.”

Krueger focused on the club’s defense, which produced 13 errors over this latest stretch of losses. “Defense is very important to where the Mariners find themselves today – atop the standings. But errors in left field and third base cannot continue if you expect the Mariners to win.” Bill said the team “needs Ricky Henderson in the line-up everyday. He’s worth a run a game. Pitching-wise, it’s not a strike-out crew,” but Krueger predicted “they will right the ship” and give a good account of themselves down the stretch.

He pointed out that the stadium is the best, and fan support is high. Answering questions from the audience, Krueger said that manager Lou Piniella is very competitive and has learned how to use his pitching staff. He praised the work done by pitching coach Brian Price. “He communicates well with his pitching staff. Pitching coaches deserve a lot of credit, they do all the prep work getting the staff ready, but the coach doesn’t make pitching decisions.” When ask about Jamie Moyer, Krueger responded by saying, “Moyer is 70-31 over the past five seasons … just about the best mark in baseball. Confidence is a big factor in all of this. I think the Mariners will turn this around.”

Thanks to Brian Evison for his introduction.


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